Review – Darkwing Duck #1

Daring duck of mystery, champion of right...swoops out of the shado...oh sorry about that. Just reliving probably my favorite cartoon intro song of all time.

Any kid my age that ever liked comics, cartoons or just watching TV after school should at least vaguely remember the host of shows that ran in that 3ish – 6ish PM timeframe. I don’t remember the channel, maybe it was 33 or 39 on the old rotary channel controls ON the TV on the UHF scale. Sure there was a remote on the TV upstairs, but in the basement where my legos and other entertainment primarily lived we rolled old school. Let’s see…there was Chip and Dale’s Rescue Rangers, Tail Spin, Gargoyles, GI Joe, Tiny Toons, Transformers, DuckTales and many others. Of course the focus of this article is on one of my favorite shows among those mentioned above, Darkwing Duck.

Darkwing Duck is the tale of Drake Mallard (Darkwing Duck), Launchpad McQuack (mechanic and friend) and Gosalyn (Darkwing’s troublemaking daughter who saves her dad’s skin when he is in trouble) as they fight a host of villains in St. Canard. What I always loved about the show was the humor. Darkwing typically got the job done, but it was usually with lots of help from his friends and more than a little luck. I remember always being entertained. There were creative villains and funny dialogue and I have no doubt that if done correctly it will carry over brilliantly to comics. With that thought in mind, BOOM! Studios with Ian Brill writing and James Silvani doing the art, The Duck Knight comes to us fresh and in comic form in Darkwing Duck #1.

We open up with a chuckle right off the bat as DW (Darkwing) and Launchpad are trying to get coffee from Starducks when suddenly a blackout hits! It seems to be affecting every Starducks in town, which DW is quick to point our means practically every other store is blacked out. Quick to save the town from being ransomed for the ability to drink coffee is the terror that flaps in the night…Darkwing Duck! He faces his old foe Megavolt who can use electricity to commit crimes. The next scene flashes forward a year and apparently DW has just been plain old Drake Mallard as nothing has happened since.

One reason for this is apparently the work of the Quackwerks Company. They have produced crimebots that now patrol and protect the city. People are now questioning DW’s efficiency and basically praising the bots with bothers Drake Mallard to no end. He, of course, works for the company and his cubicle mate is none other than Elmo, a man who used to be Megavolt. I love irony, I’m sure you do too. After a day of daydreaming about former adventures everyone is released. Megavo…I mean Elmo misses the bus home and suddenly he is kidnapped using rapid growth vines! A supervillain perhaps?

Back home Honker Muddlefoot, Gosalyn’s friend and a computer genius who used to help DW get out of tight spots is over from next door. Suddenly a host of Quackwerks Security bots breaks through the wall and arrests Honker for downloading music! A crime that is punishable, for one song, of an apparently indefinite detention. Is this a shot at the ridiculous penalties the RIAA tries to implement on people? DW is repelled but Gosalyn sees an opportunity for the return of Darkwing Duck to fix this injustice. In the meantime Elmo is tied to a chair and blindfolded in a dark room. When he asks what is the meaning of kidnapping one of St. Canard’s greatest villains, he is met with the response that he is right. Only the problem is that he is only ONE of the greatest villains. When the blindfold is removed Liquidator, Bushroot and Quackerjack are all there, and they are ready to come out of retirement.

Loved it. I laughed or chuckled to myself at least 6-7 times in this issue putting us firmly at one laugh or chuckle every 3.5 pages. The artwork brings me back to my childhood as the characters are immediately familiar even after something like 17 years. The pacing was great; we ended on a nice cliffhanger with a couple of situations brewing. I could see the villains programming the security bots to dish out unfair punishments, but with the city trusting them Darkwing will try to prevent it and end up being viewed as a villain. I could see quite a few things happening. The dialogue is funny, I like the setup of nothing happening for a year with all hell getting ready to break lose, the art is great, and overall this is a great restart of one of my favorite childhood shows. Good on BOOM! for bringing together the talent behind this and be sure to pick it up if you were ever a fan of the show when it hits stores this week.